Discussion with Lawrence Gipe and Andrew Jenks

Discussion with Lawrence Gipe and Andrew Jenks
The Wende Museum, Culver City, California
Tuesday, April 12, 2011 – 6:00 PM

Contemporary American artist Lawrence Gipe spoke with Andrew Jenks, associate professor of History, California State University, Long Beach about the appropriation of and fascination with Soviet myths and icons in contemporary art and culture.

This program was presented in conjunction with the opening of the exhibition “Cedar's Flight on Vostok 1: Icons and Artifacts of the Soviet Space Program” to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin’s 108-minute voyage into space.

Sponsored by the Fulbright Alumni Association’s Chapter of Greater Los Angeles

The California-based artist Lawrence Gipe is an assistant professor of Studio Art at the University of Arizona. He graduated from Otis Art Institute in 1986, received two NEA Individual Fellowship Grants, and has had 45 solo exhibitions in American and German galleries and museums in New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Boston, as well as in Munich, Berlin and Düsseldorf.

Gipe works with archival images that he re-presents as oil paintings, continuing a strategy of severing historical images from their original, politically charged contexts. This strategy is seen at work in his latest exhibition "Approved Images" that runs from February 12 -June 4 at the Tucson Museum of Art.

His work has been collected by individuals, foundations and institutions including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Norton Museum of Art, Palm Beach, Florida and the Brooklyn Museum, New York. The Tucson Museum of Art has just acquired a large work as part of their focus on local artists. A mid-career survey, "3 Five-Year Plans: Lawrence Gipe, 1990-2005", was organized in 2006 by Marilyn Zeitlin at the University Art Museum, Tempe, Arizona. Articles and reviews about his work appear in prestigious art magazines and journals, such as Vanity Fair, Harper's Magazine, ArtForum, Art in America, Flash Art, Kunstforum (Germany); BijutsuTecho (Japan); and Applaus (Germany), among others.

For further information: www.lawrencegipe.com

Andrew Jenks is an associate professor of History at California State University, Long Beach. His first monograph, entitled Russia in a Box: Art and Identity in an Age of Revolution (2005), explored the development of modern Russian identity through the village of Palekh — a celebrated center of Russian arts and crafts in the 19th and 20th centuries. Jenks became interested in environmental history when he discovered a Manhattan Project waste dump near his former home in Niagara Falls, NY. He began incorporating case studies in environmental crises into his courses at Niagara University and then at California State University, Long Beach. After working in archives and conducting interviews in India and the United States, he published Perils of Progress: Environmental Disasters in the Twentieth Century (2010). The book uses four toxic waste disasters (Chernobyl, Minamata, Bhopal, and Love Canal) to examine attitudes toward progress and modernity across four seemingly distinct cultures and socio-political systems. His current book project examines the biography of the first cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin. The book contains elements of conventional biography, telling the story of Gagarin’s astounding feat as well as the challenges he faced in his personal and public life. It also examines Gagarin’s celebrity in Soviet and post-Soviet Russian culture. Gagarin, one part socialist realist hero and one part Russian playboy, became a kind of palimpsest, reflecting the fantasies, dreams, hopes, and ambitions of Soviet and post-Soviet Russian citizens.

For further information: http://russianhistoryblog.org/


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